BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) agreed to launch the talks for a free trade area (FTA) within this year.
Wen made the remarks at a press briefing after a trilateral leaders' meeting which was attended by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and ROK President Lee Myung-bak.
Calling the agreement as "an important strategic decision", Wen said the three nations should make concerted efforts for the early establishment of the FTA.
The three nations Sunday morning also clinched a deal to promote, facilitate and protect investment. Wen said it will serve as the first important legal document on trilateral cooperation in economic field.
He said the three nations promised to seriously implement the deal, so as to "create stable, fair and transparent environment for expanding mutual investment among the three countries, and further deepen economic integration."